Know Your Lore: Draenor’s universal influence
Draenor was never really meant to be a “unique” world. Had it been left to its own devices, the planet would’ve eventually died out. The Sporemounds were well on their way to devouring the planet whole when Aggramar first arrived. With nothing left to devour, Draenor’s plant life would have eventually turned on itself, until nothing but dust remained.
That was the destiny of this world. Aggramar’s arrival and subsequent meddling altered its path – and set it on a course that eventually collided with Azeroth, thousands of years later.
That’s really the oddest thing about Draenor – it’s a planet that was never meant to be. Save for the Primals, every sentient species on Draenor rose to power because of Aggramar’s alterations. The descendants of Grond continued to fight against the Primals long after the Sporemounds had been defeated. They kept Draenor’s overabundant plant life firmly in check.
But there was no world-soul on Draenor. It escaped the Burning Legion’s attention entirely – there were other worlds to conquer or destroy. Worlds that were presumably more important. That, in turn, was what initially drew the attention of the Draenei. Their ship, the Genedar, was on the brink of falling apart – and Draenor hadn’t been touched by the Legion.
Oddly enough, it doesn’t appear as though the Draenei had any inkling of Draenor’s strange history. They mostly ignored the world outside the city they’d built atop Goria’s ruins – Shattrath. But the sudden crash landing of the Draenei and their failing ship unleashed a mix of arcane, Light, and Void energies into the world. It affected the Breakers and Primals to the point that Velen realized they Draenei needed to fix what they’d broken.
They accomplished this task, but the damage reached farther than even Velen could predict.
Nothing that the Orcs, Arakkoa, Ogres, or any of Draenor’s other races had done attracted the attention of the Burning Legion. But the crash landing of the Genedar and its subsequent release of energies radiated from the world, surging into the Twisting Nether. That’s what caught the Legion’s interest – and the demon that discovered this energy wasn’t looking for worlds to conquer. He was deliberately trying to track down the Draenei at the behest of Kil’jaeden.
This was not Kil’jaeden’s job. He was supposed to be looking for new races to incorporate into the Legion’s armies. And that’s why the Orcs were drawn in and corrupted – almost as a cover for Kil’jaeden’s obsession with an otherwise unremarkable world. The Orcs were simply tools that Kil’jaeden intended to bring into the Legion’s armies. But first, he’d test their abilities by setting them against Velen and the rest of the treacherous Eredar that fled Argus so long ago.
Perhaps due to the origins of the Orcs, Gul’dan picked up fel magic much more quickly than expected. After all, magic was magic – and the Orcs, much like the Ogres before them, had a natural affinity for it. In the end, Kil’jaeden played a masterful game of deception that ended with a race that was almost entirely corrupted. They nearly decimated the Draenei entirely. And once that task was done, it was time for the Orcs to invade Azeroth.
It’s always been a little convenient that the Orcs adapted so readily to Azeroth. When they were corrupted by the Legion, Orc Shaman lost their connection to the elements. It was something they eventually rediscovered on Azeroth, after the Horde’s defeat in the Second War. Azeroth’s elements were volatile, but at the same time they were willing to listen to a species that was entirely alien to the world.
It may be in part because of where the Orcs came from, and how they came to be. Grond essentially gave birth to the elemental Furies of Draenor. It was because of Aggramar’s involvement and the creation of Grond and the defeat of the Sporemounds that the elements were able to take physical form on the world. The Orcs were descendants of Grond – and in that way, they were almost like brothers and sisters to the Furies.
That kind of innate connection to a universal force like the elements isn’t something to be taken lightly or ignored. There’s a reason Thrall is such a powerful Shaman – it’s literally in his blood. It’s potentially in the blood of every Orc in existence. And there’s no other race on Azeroth with that kind of connection to the world.
Draenor vs. Azeroth
Here’s the thing about Draenor – it was never really meant to be part of all of this. It lacked a world-soul; it lacked anything remotely of interest to the Burning Legion. The Orcs had to be corrupted and pumped full of fel magic before they were considered fit for the Legion’s armies. But they ended up being the perfect weapon – what better army to fight a world full of Titan empowered races than one that was Titan empowered in its own right?
Because one has to think that Sargeras sensed it – Aggramar’s influence, as distant as it was. This world wasn’t just any world; it was the last world Aggramar had tried to help. After leaving Draenor to investigate the death of a constellar, he discovered the demonic army Sargeras had put together. He didn’t survive the confrontation with his former mentor. The Orcs were, in a way, the last project of the Titans…or one Titan in particular: the one that dared confront Sargeras, question his actions, and try to stop him.
The one who had once been a devoted student.
Draenor’s evolution is pretty fascinating – it’s a world that simply wasn’t meant to be. Everything that happened to the world was almost a comedy of errors, in a way. Draenor wasn’t extraordinary, it just happened to catch Aggramar’s attention. But his guidance was short-lived, leaving the planet to simply sort itself out. And even then, it was still humble enough to escape the Legion’s attention.
It was the lack of Legion attention that drew the Draenei to the planet, which in turn finally managed to catch the Legion’s eye. Draenor’s destiny has been changed many times over – and each time, it was because of some kind of outside influence. First Aggramar, then the Draenei, and then the Burning Legion. It wasn’t an extraordinary world to begin with, but it became one.
And in the end, Draenor finally fell apart – not eaten away by raging Primal forces of nature, but torn asunder in a mad quest for power. Aggramar’s influence may have shaped the world, but it was Sargeras’ influence that ended it. But the surviving races of Draenor continue to thrive in their own unique ways. Some on the fragmented ruins of a world that once was, some on a world far from their own – extraordinary not because of outside influence, but what resides within.
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